Lower Hutt has a lot to celebrate with community leaders working alongside businesses and Council to create more smokefree places across our city.
Queensgate Shopping Centre in Lower Hutt is taking action to promote its outdoor spaces as smokefree, making the Queensgate experience even better for customers and retailers.
Regional Centre Manager Jan Plummer said “While Queensgate has been a smokefree site for some time, we have been working closely with Hutt City Council in the lead up to World Smokefree Day to ensure that our customers and the general public are aware that Queensgate’s smokefree policy extends to areas such as our car parks. Due to the size of our site we do rely on the goodwill of customers in self-enforcing this policy.”
As a result of customer feedback, Queensgate has increased smokefree signage in these spaces, as well as supporting smokers to quit by providing space for a pop-up stand for Stop Smoking Services to engage with Queensgate visitors on World Smokefree Day, 31 May. Queensgate’s commitment to being smokefree makes it the most significant voluntary smokefree space in Lower Hutt.
Regular bus user Minjoo Bai contacted local MP Chris Bishop who started the smokefree conversation with Hutt City Council.
Bai said: “I would normally just avoid people smoking but it is hard when people are smoking outside Queensgate by the bus stop, you can't go anywhere because you have to wait for the bus. I respect a smoker’s right to smoke but I think they should respect non-smokers as well. They could consider not smoking in public spaces where there are non-smokers and also women who are pregnant, mothers with babies, high school students, kids and others who do not want to be exposed to the smell.”
Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace congratulated Queensgate for its action “By having Queensgate promote its voluntary smokefree spaces we will significantly reduce both the visibility of smoking and the harm that comes from second-hand smoke. This is even more important when considering the number of youth that congregate in this space daily.”
Bai said “I thank MP Chris Bishop, Hutt City Council and Queensgate for being aware of the issue and taking action on it.”
Support is available for those who want to quit. Contact the Regional Stop Smoking Service Tākiri Mai te Ata on 0800 926 257 or Quitline on 0800 778 778.
Published: 30 May 2018